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Michael Gibbons Joins MH

Mintier Harnish is excited to announce that Michael Gibbons has joined our team as a Planner.

Michael has worked in both the public and private sector, as well as in law enforcement. He has experience in land use planning, zoning regulations, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, urban design, architectural applications, historic preservation, real estate development, regulatory code, and public policy.

Previously, Michael worked as the Assistant City Planner for the City of Napa. Michael graduated with honors from California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in City and Regional Planning. Michael also holds an Associate of Science in Mathematics with a concentration in Architecture from Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo.

Michael can be reached at

Rick Rust Joins Mintier Harnish

Mintier Harnish is excited to announce that Rick Rust, AICP, GISP has joined our team as a Principal Planner.

Rick brings more than 33 years of experience in the management and preparation of general and comprehensive plans, housing elements, specific plans, zoning codes, and environmental compliance documents. His work is based on a comprehensive set of skills in community planning, urban design, economic development, environmental compliance, and community engagement. He also has an extensive background in the application of GIS technologies to planning.

For general and comprehensive plans, Rick brings extensive experience managing dozens of successful planning projects in California and nationwide. In California, this includes management of the general plan and EIR programs for the cities of Tulare, Stockton, San Luis Obispo, Oxnard, and Lincoln, and the counties of Tulare and Lake.  Nationally, Rick has worked on community planning projects in 25 states, with recent comprehensive plan experience in Arizona, Colorado, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island. This mix of California and national experience gives Rick a unique insight into a wide range of issues and solutions developed in consultation with dozens of communities.

Rick can be reached at

We are pleased to celebrate the release of the 2017 OPR General Plan Guidelines!

This is a major milestone for California planning that follows several years of work that has been led by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR).

The 2017 OPR General Plan Guidelines is the first comprehensive update to the Guidelines since 2003 and addresses numerous new laws, requirements, resources, and research that affects General Plans. This includes the following legislation:

  • Environmental Justice (SB 1000) – OPR guidance is pending,
  • Resiliency and Climate Change Adaptation (SB 379),
  • Sustainable Communities Strategies (SB 375),
  • Flood Management (SB 5),
  • Vehicle Miles Traveled (SB 743),
  • Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities (SB 244),
  • Tribal Consultation (AB 52),
  • Local Hazard Mitigation Plans (AB 2140), and
  • Many more!

Beyond State law requirements, the 2017 OPR General Plan Guidelines also provide direction on topics including:

  • Healthy communities
  • Equitable and resilient communities
  • Economic development
  • Climate change
  • Renewable energy

Additional new features include a statutory checklist for all mandatory elements and a General Plan Mapping Tool.

For more information on the OPR General Plan Guidelines, visit the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research website:

El Dorado County Mixed Use Design Manual wins the 2017 Planning Award of Excellence in Urban Design!

In collaboration with Orr Design Office, Inc., Mintier Harnish prepared an innovative Mixed Use Design Manual to guide the development of historically sensitive, mixed-use buildings in the communities of Camino, Diamond Springs, El Dorado, Georgetown, Pollock Pines, and Shingle Springs. The Manual features 28 pages of easy-to-use guidelines and standards grouped by categories that include project dimensions and building design. The team illustrated each set of standards and guidelines with images and diagrams that make it easy for users to understand their intent. To further illustrate the standards and guidelines, the Manual contains an entire chapter describing how they could be used in an example community designed to mirror communities in El Dorado County. The project won the 2017 Planning Award of Excellence in Urban Design from the Sacramento Valley Section APA.

The award nomination was submitted in memory of Ted Holzem, Principal Planner at Mintier Harnish, and Cameron Hockenson, Project Designer at ORR Design Office, who were both integral members of the planning team for this project.

Fresno Multi-Jurisdictional Housing Element wins two APA awards!

Mintier Harnish, in collaboration with Veronica Tam Associates, prepared a Multi-Jurisdictional Housing Element for Fresno County and 12 of the 15 cities in Fresno County. The project involved coordinating with staff from the 13 jurisdictions to gather local data and develop a consensus on a regional plan for addressing housing needs for all 13 jurisdictions. The result was a single certified housing element for all jurisdictions. The Fresno County Multi-Jurisdictional Housing Element represents an innovative approach to meeting State Housing Element law and coordinating resources to address the region’s housing needs. The following jurisdictions participated in the effort: Fresno County, Clovis, Coalinga, Fowler, Huron, Kerman, Kingsburg, Mendota, Parlier, Reedley, San Joaquin, Sanger, and Selma. The project won two APA awards: the 2016 Outstanding Planning Award for Best practices from the California Central Section APA and a 2016 Best Practice Award of Merit from the California Chapter of APA.

MH: The Ever-Evolving Firm

This last year at Mintier Harnish has been chocked full of change. Sometimes change can be unsettling but as planners we know that change is one of the few things we can say is inevitable. Last June Mintier Harnish celebrated 30 years in business and we certainly have seen a lot of change since 1985. Larry decided it was about time to slow down and is now a part-time project advisor on several of our important projects. As a result, Jim promoted himself to Principal/Owner. Judy Harnish, the first and only firm business manager, logged her 31st year with the firm. Chelsey Payne, our fabulous Project Manager, marked her 9th year with the firm and celebrated the event by having a beautiful little girl (Jacqueline). Our Graphic Production Manager, Ryan Lester, has now been with us for three years and is largely responsible for elevating the firm’s publication quality to new levels. Two of our favorite planners, Dave Amos and Dov Kadin decided they didn’t know enough about planning (they are wrong) and returned to graduate school (both to Cal); Dave for his PHd and Dov for his Masters. In their place we have four new planners: Brent, Amy, Renee, and Rosa (see below). Our long time Office Manager, Theda Justiniani, returned for a second tour of duty after a three year absence. And last but not least, Bob Lagomarsino, the first planner Jim and Larry hired in 1985, returned to the Mintier Harnish fold after wandering in the corporate wilderness for 18 years.  Through all this change we continue to have exciting projects, great clients, and interesting new challenges.

Back to the Future

After an 18-year hiatus, Bob Lagomarsino rejoined Mintier Harnish as a Principal at the beginning of 2016. Bob was hired as Mintier Harnish’s first planner in 1985 and spent 12 years with the firm before moving on to bigger (not better) things. In his 18 years away from Mintier Harnish, Bob worked with LDR International in Maryland and then with BRW/Dames & Moore/URS/AECOM (one job) in Phoenix and Sacramento. Over the course of his 30-year career, he has built upon the policy planning foundation established in his first stint with Mintier Harnish by focusing on multi-disciplinary collaboration. This includes immersion in a wide variety of land use-transportation coordination, community design, and emergency management projects. Bob looks forward to collaborating with his new/old colleagues to sustain, grow, and diversify Mintier Harnish’s presence in the planning services field in the Western United States. He also looks forward to resuming the same 0.49-mile commute he enjoyed when he last worked for the firm in 1997.

Mintier Harnish

1415 20th Street | Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 446-0522